Question: I want to see my abs this summer, what’s the best ab move for me to make them show?
Answer: Bad news. There’s no ONE ab move that will be the magic exercise to get your abs to pop. Instead, the best answer is: ‘abs are made in the kitchen’.
The best exercise is this ===>
As far as the ‘other’ best exercise is concerned, I want to use a friend that I often see at the gym as an example.
He is Evgengy Zilberov. He’s a 38 year old translator and we usually just nod a greeting to each other because neither one of us are at the gym to chat.
The other day as we finished up our workouts, our paths crossed and we talked a bit about ab training.
Evgengy’s a hard working man in the gym and since others have said planks are tough, he thought he should try some planks from time to time, (he sheepishly admitted that he hardly ever trained abs). He was convinced that he must be doing the plank incorrectly because to him it just didn’t feel like much. He was looking forward to hitting his abs hard, but plank as he would, he felt nothing.
I asked him to show me his front and side plank and as you can see, he has impeccable form:
It was clear to me that Evgengy’s six pack and strength in his abs comes from his training, even though he doesn’t include specific ab work. Evgengy works his tail off 5-6 days a week on other moves that work his core. He doesn’t mess around with things like bicep curls (although you can see his guns). He does compound movements like squats and deadlifts. These are brilliant for developing a strong core. I’ve never once come into the gym to find him on a cardio machine either. It’s more likely that I’ll find him in the squat rack. As well, his abs are ‘made in the kitchen’ with solid nutrition, you won’t see him at a drive thru.
I maintain that the BEST ab move is any kind of compound full body movement like squats or deadlifts, burpees, pull ups and push ups. Aside from those big compound movements, any kind of planking exercise is the BEST for core strength and stability.
Here are some tips for doing a proper plank:
Get moving in the gym on compound movements and throw in some planking to tighten and tone your core. You can do like Evgengy, I told him that if he were ever to watch TV, read a book or wait for the bus, he could assume the plank position to further strengthen his mid section 😉
Question: I’m an over weight diabetic that hasn’t trained for over 4 years. I’m confused as to what workouts I should start with on the 21 Day Challenge Diet. Can you help?
Answer: Your goal is to get in a workout every day. You have 18 workouts to choose from. My suggestion is to start with the body weight workouts first. Go easy on yourself at first. Do what you can, pace yourself remembering that you haven’t trained in 4 years.
Your goal is to just ‘do a little more each day’. From the bodyweight workouts, you can move onto the burpee and then finally the complex workouts. The complex workouts are more advanced so unless you have some dumb bells and some workout experience, you’ll probably not want to start with them.
If you want more direction, you can grab the follow along videos to the workouts here. You’ll be able to train along with me and I can provide more coaching tips as we train together.
The point is to start with some exercise along with nutritional modification, this is the fastest way to transform your body.
Question: I’ve been thinking about trying the 21 Day Challenge Diet . My main problem is, I don’t like to eat.
If I could take a pill for the day, I would. But we both know you can’t live like that. I don’t like a lot of foods, and texture of foods make me not want to eat. I basically eat junk. Hamburgers, hot dogs, spaghetti with sauce, pizza, sandwiches, etc. How can I start to eat healthier when I know the foods that are good for you turn me off taste wise. I bought your challenge work-out. I am 52 and trying to get in better shape. I need your help with this one.
Answer: Time for some tough love. You just must stop eating junk as the main staple in your diet.
I understand that you have no appetite, I struggle with this from time to time, especially when I’m stressed. The key to a non-eater’s nutritional success is the SAME as an over eater. Here’s what you need to do:
- stock your home with healthy food
- do a pantry raid and toss out the crap
- plan your meals ahead of time
- set your iPhone or an alarm and eat ‘something’ every couple of hours
- stay clear of fast food places and areas of temptation
- allow for a treat meal every 7 days
- get social support, like on the 21 Day Challenge Diet private group
I hope these tips help you. I know you understand that your eating isn’t supporting healthy living and a fantastic physique and that’s why you’re reaching out. You’ll feel so much better and you’ll be able to actually workout if you fuel your body with better food.
You have to start somewhere, I highly recommend the 21 Day Challenge Diet as a template. Even if you don’t follow it to the letter, it will give you the framework and direction that you need to get out of the rut you’re in.
Question: I Love the Challenge Complex IDEA; HOWEVER, I am a newbie, in my 50′s and pretty out-of-shape. Even though the complexes are short, they’re too tough for me. Can you make a suggestion for us newbies? What can we do until we can complete a TOTAL complex? Thanks so much! Debbie
Answer: Debbie, This is a good question. You can easily start any of the barbell complexes with a broom stick. This will help you work on mobility and range of motion. As for the dumb bell complexes, you can do the same thing, you could just do them unweighted. This would be a terrific start for you to learn the exercises as well. All the best to you Debbie, keep us posted as to your progress.
Question: My wife had our first baby 6 weeks ago. She’s interested in the 21 Day Challenge Diet. Would it be suitable for her?
Answer: First of all, congratulations on the birth of your son. This is exciting and fantastic news. Secondly, the principles of the 21 day challenge diet are safe and reasonable for your wife to follow for post partum weight loss.
Is she breast feeding? If so, she shouldn’t restrict calories but just clean up the quality of food she’s eating. She could use the principles and recipes in the plan but not restrict her calories.
If she’s not breast feeding, then she could safely use the plan.
Having said this, her first priority is your son. If the calories are too restrictive but she’s eating paleo style foods laid out in the plan, she may increase her intake slightly.
It’s when she cleans up her diet long term and adds the workouts in that I suggest that she’ll get to her goals. It takes a little time but there’s no reason that it can’t work for her.
The eating style worked for me after the birth of my children. Being post partum isn’t an excuse to eat poorly, it’s a time to really take extra care.
And speaking of planking, my fitness boot camp had a plank challenge going on so I did some planks in unconventional places…
If you’re looking for a cool ab program, check out my Aussie pal, Kate Vidulich’s Ab Accelerators.
Kate’s workouts are a brilliant way to hit your abs if you don’t want to do a piano plank, elevator plank, luggage cart plank, duck pond plank, mall plank, car plank, window plank, kitchen plank, window plank, escalator plank…..
PS. I dare ya! Who will be the first to post a picture to my Facebook page?? (I shouldn’t be the only planking nutter out there.)